“But you don’t look sick”

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’re doing well and having a fab weekend. Sadly I am in the middle of a flare up so everything hurts and I am super sleepy…

Following the news this week about Chester Bennington sadly passing away I felt it was important for this blog to be about the stigma attached to Mental Health. Chronic and Invisible illnesses are a very common cause of Mental Health problems. This shouldn’t be anything that people are ashamed of..it’s 2017 for crying out loud, we should not still live in a world where Mental Health is something to feel ashamed of.

I went through a particularly hard time with my illness last November, this all stemmed from me going to see Pain Clinic Doctors, only for them to tell me the only way they were willing to help me was if I went to see a Psychiatrist. I will admit that I walked out of that appointment, burst into tears and just couldn’t handle what I had been told. They were convinced and kept telling that my pain was all in my head and that’s why they wanted to send me to a psychiatrist so that they could “retrain the way I think”.

I am registered disabled with my three illnesses, that is not something that you can just make up in your head! With everything that happened last year and not getting the answers I wanted I started to feel deflated and worthless, like nothing I did mattered as I would always be in pain, I was getting in trouble at work for being off sick purely because I didn’t want to leave the house I wanted to stay in bed all day and sleep off the dark cloud that was slowly consuming me.

It was a really hard decision for me to go and speak to my Doctor because I just assumed that this feeling of dread and darkness would clear after a couple of weeks, when I spoke to him about it he then told me I had clinical depression and he was glad that I went to speak to someone as I no one should have to suffer alone.

Don’t get me wrong I am lucky and I know I could speak to my family and Ross and my friends at work if I needed to, however I find it incredibly hard as I am one of those people who slaps a smile on and gets on with it, I rarely complain and I don’t want to come across as not being able to handle things on my own. This was the reason I didn’t speak to anyone about how I felt I didn’t want to ask for help, I felt alone even though I had my family and friends and Ross.

I was put on anti depressants and then made the decision that I wanted to leave my job at the time as this was not helping with my mental state, I was speaking to people everyday over the phone who would make me feel worse than ever. I have now found an amazing job with amazing people around me, I am so lucky to have a support network at work, home and in my friendships.

However I know that a LOT of people out there are suffering in silence, I do not want anyone that reads my blogs to feel like they have to suffer in silence, I want you all to know that I personally will be here if anyone wants to contact me to even just get the littlest thing off their chest, even that can help a little. Knowing that you have at least one set of ears even if they are not of a person you have met or spoken to before.

Of course depression isn’t the only Mental Health problem that there is a stigma attached too, to be honest all Mental health is still seen as a sore talking point. It should not be like that in 2017, we should be able to talk freely about how we feel and what is going on inside our minds, we shouldn’t have to feel ashamed of seeing a therapist or having counselling. It’s okay to cry it’s okay to be angry and most importantly IT’S OKAY TO SEEK HELP, IT'S OKAY NOT BE OKAY.

You are never alone, there will always be someone you can turn too! So please don’t suffer in silence anymore! If this helps just one person then I will feel I have achieved something amazing.

Signing off for now

Scarlett x

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